Alex Murdaugh: Police open new investigation into falling death of South Carolina lawyer’s housekeeper

Sons of Gloria Satterfield say attorney failed to pay settlement for death of mother, as he faces charges of insurance fraud

Gino Spocchia
Thursday 16 September 2021 12:21
<p>Andrew Murdaugh (right) </p>

Andrew Murdaugh (right)

A lawyer who allegedly organised a botched assassination on his own life after the deaths of his wife and son, will again be the focus of an investigation in South Carolina for the 2018 death of a former housekeeper, authorities have said.

In a statement on Wednesday, South Carolina’s investigative agency said that it was opening an investigation into 53-year-old Alex Murdaugh, a well known attorney, for the death of Gloria Satterfield, a longtime housekeeper for his family in Hampton.

Coroner Angela Topper said she felt it was “prudent to pursue an investigation into Gloria Satterfield's death” because it was “not reported to the coroner at the time, nor was an autopsy performed”.

It was also alleged that the 57-year-old’s death certificate was “inconsistent” with her death, from a fall, reported Fox News.

The announcement of an investigation followed a lawsuit filed by Ms Satterfield’s sons, Tony Satterfield and Brian Harriott, on Wednesday against Mr Murdaugh for his failure to pay $500,000 (£362,000) in damages for the death of her mother.

The sons also allege that Mr Murdaugh was at fault for Ms Satterfield's death, which happened inside the family home of Mr Murdaugh, according to the report.

Citing an attorney, Richard Harpootlian, NBC News said Mr Murdaugh was due to hand himself into authorities on Thursday in Hampton after admitting to the attempted assassination on himself on 4 September.

It was allegedly carried out in the belief that his death would release a $10 million (£7.2 million) life insurance policy to a surviving son.

Mr Harpootlian said Mr Murdaugh organised the botched assassination after falling into depression and an opioid addiction following the deaths of his wife and son in June, who were killed in a shooting that remains largely unsolved.

He is listed as a co-defendant with Curtis Edward Smith, aged 61, who faces charges including assisted suicide, assault and battery of a high aggravated nature and conspiracy to commit insurance fraud, police said.

The two investigations follow a third inquiry into Mr Murdaugh in connection to alleged fraud at his work, it was reported.

Mr Harpootlian told NBC’s Today show on Wednesday that he expected his client to be charged and that “clearly knew what he had done was wrong”.

“He was in a dark, dark, dark place and wanted to help his remaining son Buster in any way he could and he thought this was the only way he could leave him with anything,” Mr Harpootlian said.

Additional reporting by Reuters.